Monday, March 26, 2012

The Skyrim Mug

If you're looking for a glass etching tutorial, click here. Behold. The Skyrim Mug.


I can't get a picture that I'm satisfied with because of the glare, but you can see the idea. I created a stencil using the logo as a template and etched it on both sides of this mug. It turned out a lot better than I'd expected!



Here, you can see both sides shining through. 


It looks much more impressive in person!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mason Jar Sewing Kit

For years, I kept my sewing materials in a strawberry-shaped box. The box must've been a little TOO lifelike, because a few months ago, my dog ate it. I stumbled on this idea from Martha Stewart's craft site and immediately grabbed a jar from my kitchen to try it. I didn't follow her steps, so I posted my own below.


Materials
  • A mason jar that you don't mind modifying
  • Fabric (here's a chance to use your scraps!)
  • Cardboard
  • Cotton batting
  • Hot Glue - I didn't use it, but you might need it
  • Scissors
Step One

Detatch or cut out the center part of the lid. Trace the lid on a piece of cardboard and then cut it out; the two circles should be the same size.


Step Two
Cut the fabric into a circle that is slightly larger than the lid. I didn't make any exact measurements, since you'll only see the center section. Take a small amount of cotton batting, place it underneath the fabric, and then push the fabric through the lid. Place the cardboard underneath the batting to create your pin cushion.



Step Three
I'm not sure if it was just the cardboard I used, but my cushion stayed in place after I'd pushed the cardboard as far as it would go. I even tested it by pressing on the top - the thing is sturdy! If yours is not secure, use hot glue to secure the fabric and cardboard to the original lid.

Step Four
The lid should screw back onto the mason jar normally. Fill with sewing supplies and enjoy.







Saturday, March 17, 2012

Colorful Handbags


While I've been making coasters, Cheryl has been busy at her sewing machines. Using fabric scraps and remnants, she's started piecing together colorful handbags. I visited her craft room yesterday to take pictures; by the time I got home, she had already finished another bag!



Using fabric scraps, she was able to create a patchwork effect.

I think I'll keep this one for myself...

A green patchwork pattern.


Not all of the bags follow the patchwork pattern. Here are some of the other patterns and designs.


She makes sure the bags have a sturdy lining and each one is made with a pocket on the inside. Here's where all the magic happens - note how much fabric she still has to go through!






Monday, March 12, 2012

Tile Coasters


When I moved last year, I had trouble finding coasters for my house. I perused the local home goods stores but I couldn't find any coasters that I liked. After browsing the internet, I found this tutorial and tried it out; the coasters were a hit! All of my family members got a set for Christmas.

I've made several adjustments to the coaster-making process that are different from other tutorials I've seen. I've included my own directions below.

Materials
  • Tiles - I started with white ones and have since ventured into other colors. The colored tiles tend to be a little more expensive, but they are still cheap.
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Mod Podge - I use the original matte, but there are many varieties.
  • Optional: Acrylic paint that matches your tiles (doesn't have to be the exact same color)
  • Brushes - one for the paint, one for the Mod Podge
  • Felt, or something else to line the bottoms. I used shelf liner for these, but I discovered later that sometimes the liner sticks to the tops of other coasters when they are stacked.
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Hot Glue

Step One (optional)
I'm a little bit of a neat freak. When I first started making coasters, it bugged me that sometimes, the sides were not evenly painted like the tops. Now, I paint the sides of the coasters with an identical color (see the black coasters) or a color that matches well.

For the "cocoa" colored tiles, I chose to paint the edges white.

All clean!

Step Two
Cut your scrapbook paper into uniform squares. A paper cutter is ideal, but scissors are fine. The paper below is from The Paper Source and can be found here.



Step Three
Make sure your tiles are clean and then apply a coat of Mod Podge. Once the tile is coated, adhere your scrapbook paper. Make sure the paper is FLAT, especially around the edges!

This stuff is the best! I can't believe I didn't hear about it sooner.



Step Four
After the first coat of Mod Podge dries, apply another coat on top. The bottle says it dries in 15 - 20 minutes, but I would wait as long as possible. At least an hour after the top coat dries, I like to apply a second coat to make the coasters more durable. Make sure to Mod Podge the sides too, if you covered them in paint.

The Mod Podge will dry clear, but it will leave slight lines. 
When I apply my second coat, I brush in the opposite direction.

Step Five
Once the tiles are dry, take the shelf liner or felt and cut it into squares to fit the bottom of the tiles. The shelf liner ensures that the tiles won't scratch your furniture. I use hot glue to adhere it; once the glue is cool enough to touch, I press down on it for a few seconds to make sure it sticks.

UPDATE: For later tiles, I used felt. I found that when I stacked my coasters, the shelf liner would sometimes stick. At home improvement stores, you can even buy adhesive felt circles that are meant to go underneath furniture so it doesn't scratch the floor. These circles work great!



Mod Podge takes a while to "set," even though it appears dry right away. Let them rest for a while before using them and try not to stack them otherwise they get sticky (especially if you use the shelf liner!) The coasters are water resistant but not waterproof, so don't submerge them in water. If they get dirty, they usually wipe clean with a damp cloth. 

Enjoy your coasters!



Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tutorial: Felt Roses


Felt Roses are cute, easy to make, and extremely versatile. I've used them to decorate magnets, picture frames, and hair accessories; I'm sure I'll think of plenty more places to glue them. To make a felt rose, you'll need the following materials:
  • Felt (amount will depend on how large you want your roses to be)
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun

Step One: Cut a piece of felt into a "flower" shape. For a different, more uniform effect, you can opt to cut the felt into a simple circle.



Step Two: Take your scissors and cut a spiral into the flower. When I cut, I continue cutting in the "flower" pattern.

Ta-da!

Step Three: Take the outer edge of the flower and begin tightly rolling it inward.


Step Four: Once you have rolled your flower, hot glue the end section to the bottom of the flower. This will secure it into place.


You now have a felt rose! At craft stores, you can find bobby pins and hair clips that are specially made for attaching decorations. I have also glued roses to headbands, magnets, and picture frames for a little extra style. My refrigerator looks like a garden!

The back of a felt rose bobby pin. Notice the circular disk meant for adhering decorations.

Felt roses as refrigerator magnets.

Not the best picture, but you can see the felt roses used to spice up a picture frame.









Monday, March 5, 2012

Welcome!

Welcome to The Crafty Crabs Blog! The Crafty Crabs are a family of crafters who operate on the Eastern Shore. This blog is our way of sharing our work with others, outside of craft fairs and community events.

Why crabs? For starters, Maryland blue crabs are a large part of our diet during the summer months. We are also hermit crab lovers; I have been keeping hermit crabs for seventeen years! My oldest crab, LG, has been with me for 9 years now.

Stay posted for regular updates!